Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs

Customs Act 1901

Custom (Prohibited Exports) Regulations (Amendment)

Section 112 of the Customs Act 1901 ("the Act") provides in part that:

"(1)       The Governor-General may, by regulation, prohibit the exportation of goods from Australia.

(2)       The power conferred by subsection (1) may be exercised: ... (b) by prohibiting the exportation of goods to a specified place; or (c) by prohibiting the exportation of goods unless specified conditions or restrictions are complied with.

(2A)       Without limiting the generality of paragraph (2)(c), the regulations - ... (a) may provide that the exportation of the goods is prohibited unless a licence. permission, consent or approval to export the goods or a class of goods in which the goods are included has been granted as prescribed by the regulations; ..."

The Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations ("the Regulations") control the exportation of the goods specified in the various regulations (or identified in a list made under section 11-1 of the Act) or the Schedules to the Regulations, by prohibiting exportation absolutely, or making exportation subject to the permission of a Minister or an authorised person.

These regulations lift the sanctions imposed against Sierra Leone relating to the sale or supply of petroleum and petroleum products in accordance with United Nations Security Council ("UNSC") Resolution 1156 of 16 March 1998. In addition, certain technical amendments have been made to the Regulations.


Regulation 13CH of the Regulations previously controlled the exportation of petroleum. or a petroleum product, and paramilitary equipment and spare parts, to Sierra Leone. These controls were introduced to give effect to the sanctions imposed by UNSC Resolution 1132 of 8 October 1997. These sanctions were imposed because the military junta. which seized power after the coup of 25 May 1997, had not taken steps to allow the restoration of the democratically-elected Government and a return to Constitutional order.

As the democratically elected Government of Sierra Leone has now been restored, the UNSC decided that the sanctions relating to petroleum and petroleum products should now be lifted (paragraph 2 of UNSC Resolution 1156 of 16 March 1998). The other prohibitions are to be reviewed (paragraph 4 of UNSC Resolution 1156 of 16 March 1998).

These amendments to the Regulations have been made in accordance with Australia's obligations as a member of the United Nations to accept and implement decisions of the Security Council.

The Regulations are explained in greater detail in the Attachment.

The Regulations commenced on gazettal.


Regulation 1 - Commencement

Subregulation 1.1 provided for the Regulations to commence on gazettal.

Regulation 2 - Amendment

Subregulation 2.1 provided that the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations ("the Regulations') have been amended as set out in these regulations.

Regulation 3 -Regulation 13CE (Exportation of certain goods to Angola)

Subregulation 3.1 amended the definition of "petroleum" in subregulation 13CE(5) to correct an error. The term "hydrogen sulphate" has been replaced with the correct term "hydrogen sulphide".

Regulation 4 - Regulation 13CH (Exportation of paramilitary equipment to Sierra Leone)

Subregulation 4.1 omitted subregulations 13CH(1), (2) and (3). These subregulations dealt with the control of the exportation of petroleum and petroleum products to Sierra Leone.

Subregulation 4.2 omitted the definitions of "authorised person", "petroleum" and "petroleum product". These terms are no longer required given the omission of subregulations 13CH(1), (2) and (3).

The effect of these amendments is that the only controls remaining in place under regulation 13CH are the absolute prohibition on the exportation of paramilitary equipment (and spare parts for such equipment), the immediate or final destination of which is, or is intended to be, Sierra Leone. The title of regulation 13CH has been amended accordingly.

These amendments give effect to UNSC Resolution 1156 of 16 March 1998.

Regulation 5 - Regulation 13H (Certain applications to be referred)

Subregulations 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 effected technical amendments to regulation 13H consequential to the removal of the permission granting powers in regulation 13CH. In addition, these amendments effected the removal of the references to regulation 13CC, as this regulation was repealed by Statutory Rules No. 282 of 1996, and so these references were inappropriate.

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